Thrifty Berkeley

Explore Berkeley's vibrant vintage and thrift store scene.


Vintage clothing finds are good for your look, good for your wallet and great for the world. Fast fact: Americans throw away 15 million tons of clothing every year. Buy second-hand, say no to fast fashion-waste!

It makes perfect sense that green-minded Berkeley has a legacy of excellence in thrift shops reaching back to the flower power & free speech '60s. Hip locals (led by UC Berkeley student style-makers) buy, wear and sell on-trend styles (retro, hip-hop, urban, modern, denim, designer, athleisure, etc.) meaning there's an ever-changing inventory at vintage clothing and thrift stores for the rest of us to snag. Here's a quick tour of the Berkeley thriftverse, organized by schools Old and New.

Bargain Birkenstocks

Old School

Vintage finds at Mars Mercantile are meticulously sorted and displayed by decade and color. Two floors of space to thrift through and possibly the most inspired organization of thrift finds in the Berkeley galaxy. Plus-location on Telegraph Avenue for post-shop bites and sips. $$

Out of the Closet Berkeley is the local outpost of a national chain with a mission, founded in 1990 to help raise funds and awareness for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. When you shop or donate at Out of the Closet, 96 cents of every dollar made goes to AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV prevention and treatment services. Its large University Avenue space accommodates a huge inventory. Allow ample time to find. $-$$

Crossroads is a national chain with a hyper Berkeley vibe and a Cal student fave. Great inventory of men's and women's fashions and shoes, located in downtown Berkeley. Buy and sell options available. $-$$$

Dress for Less

An Elmwood institution since 1979, Slash Denim is an emporium with one of the most extensive collections of vintage Levi's (along with other trending dungaree brands) in the country. The owners are passionate about pants and it shows. While you're shopping Elmwood, check out the value-priced wines at Vintage Berkeley. $$-$$$

Slash Denim

New School

Friends of Indigo is a NorCal chain of vintage clothing shops with a new Berkeley location on Telegraph Avenue. Think rotating guest vendors with curated collections of vintage and designer clothing in a creative boutique setting. Local maker arts and crafts displays complement the fully bespoke inventory. $$-$$$

Paisley Vintage is located just west of the Cal campus and filled with heartfelt treasures of apparel. Paisley Vintage's goal is to connect both the casual and even the most fashion forward individuals to the unique ways of vintage. Prince would approve. $-$$$

Paisley Vintage

2nd Street - Telegraph is part of a bi-coastal but fast-growing international chain that has a strong connection to Japan. Coveted designer brands, unique vintage items and trendy pre-owned clothing, shoes and accessories. Everything from streetwear to runway-glam: Supreme, Vivienne Westwood, Hysteric Glamour, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Balenciaga, Burberry, Billionaire Boys Club, Bape. "B" sure to check out the Berkeley store's current inventory here. $$-$$$

Grove Street Kids is a resale children's and women's store in North Shattuck that was recently hailed as "The Best Place to Buy or Sell Gently Used Children's Clothing" in Parents Press' annual Best of the Bay issue. The focus is on natural fibers, eco-ethical labels and durability for creative green-minded souls. Just around the corner from the Cheeseboard and Peet's for refueling. $-$$$

Kicks for Kids

OG School

Where thrifting was born. The Goodwill Store in downtown Berkeley is an ever-changing emporium of exceptional finds. Armani tie? DKNY top? Nike or Ferragamo kicks? Anything is possible. The Goodwill Store also gladly accepts donations and is surrounded by awesome Berkeley places to eat and drink. A treasure-hunting afternoon well-spent. $-$$

Goodwill: The OG
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